PLanning a Peer teaching project
Have an idea for a teaching project but not sure where to start? Bethan sets out a framework for planning below
What do you want to achieve with your programme?
What kind of teaching style do you see? In the pre-covid world this might have been simulation or small group teaching. Now it might be zoom break out rooms or webex meetings!
I’m interested in a career in Anaesthetics so naturally I wanted to produce a teaching programme focusing on Anaesthetics & ICM for junior doctors. My vision was for Core trainees and Registrars in the field to teach at a level that would be digestible for Foundation Doctors.
I didn’t want the teaching to be a repeat of our (often boring) medical school lectures and hoped to find engaging teachers that would make their sessions interactive. I chose to use zoom as this was a platform I was most familiar with.. and it’s free!
What do you need to achieve your vision?
Can you do this alone or do you need help with hosting the sessions?
Do you want a team to evaluate your teaching with you are can you do self-guided reflection?
Where are you going to deliver your teaching?
When will you deliver the sessions?
How will you recruit educators?
How will you advertise your teaching?
As this was my first teaching project, I didn’t want to bring in too big of a team in case things got a bit overwhelming. Having Mim and Nate from PiPs to talk things through with was incredibly helpful though.
I would highly recommend not doing all of the teaching yourself. Firstly, the workload would be huge! But more importantly, thinking about the benefit to yourself and your learners, you would likely gain more from experiencing different teaching styles in your programme.
Getting learners involved
I compiled a mailing list of all of the NW Foundation School Administrators to help me advertise my project. I also set up a Facebook page which some people may pay more attention to when compared to emails! Additionally, I produced a flyer to send with my advertising emails and to use as my Facebook cover photo, to create a recognisable image associated with my programme.
Who will your project affect? Who can support you in delivering it? Who do you need to make contact with before, during and after?
In terms of thinking about who I was targeting with my programme, I knew I wanted to aim this teaching at Foundation Doctors and later year Medical Students. It is important to research what your learners actually want to know about. I sent out a questionnaire prior to planning my programme to gauge if a) anyone was actually interested in attending the talks and b) if so, what did they actually want to know about.
From this information you can plan your teaching topics and find your teachers.
Having Nate (senior anaesthetist) to help me with my programme has been invaluable and I would recommend having a senior colleague or friend help guide you with your project if possible. Nate has been kind enough to both teach and supervise some of my sessions and give me some much needed advice at times.
A personal plan
How much time can you realistically devote to this project?
How much time do you think it will really take for you to prepare for each session?
Think about other time factors such as preparing certificates and sending advertisement emails.
Will you need help with the workload?
How will you evaluate the project? How will you gain feedback? And what specifically do you think it is worthwhile having feedback on?
Will you be doing any teaching yourself? If so – how will you evaluate yourself as a teacher? As a leader?
What will you do with this feedback to help yourself and others learn from your programme and improve?
Evaluation… you could argue the most important part of your entire programme!
It is a good idea to gain feedback for your programme and for your teachers. Have a think about what questions are actually useful to ask? What were you trying to achieve with this programme?
What have you learned about yourself as a programme lead?
If you are struggling with this part, there is plenty of help out there to help you think about this more.
To evaluate my teaching programme I sent out surveys following each session. I used open-ended questions with short answer text boxes to encourage more qualitative feedback, I personally find this more useful than rating scales.
I read through the feedback following each session and implemented any suggestions made to the following session – for example people were enjoying the level of interactivity so I asked my teachers to make their talks as interactive as possible. I also sent the feedback to the teachers following each session and offered to talk through the teaching with them afterwards.
How long do you intend the programme to run for? do you want to set out a defined number of sessions before you begin?
Do you want to handover the project for somebody else to continue when you are finished? If so, how will you prepare for this?
I have been approached by an FY1 doctor who is interested in Anaesthetics and Med Ed who I plan on handing over the framework of the project to including my contacts and certificate templates. I’m hoping this means the programme can be delivered annually and continue to benefit junior doctors interested in Anaesthetics, but also giving someone an opportunity to organise their own programme each year.
I found that by answering these questions on paper gave me everything I needed to get started!
My advice would be to make sure you have all of your dates and teachers lined up before you even begin your first session to avoid any last-minute hunting! However, be warned that rota changes are inevitable and I would recommend catching up with your teachers about two weeks before they are due to teach.
In terms of “stakeholders”, having a contact in the relevant field can be extremely useful. In my case, I was preparing an Anaesthetics & ICM programme. Nate, one member of the PiPs team, is an Anaesthetics Registrar so has been an incredible help with finding colleagues who would be suitable to teach in the programme.
Finally, remember why you set out to do this in the first place – your learners! Find out what they want to know before you start. This might be in the form of a pre-session questionnaire or a question to your audience at the beginning of the talk. It is also useful to think about these things so that you can provide your teachers with a guide before they plan their teaching session.
I hope that this post gives you what you need to get started with your own peer teaching programme… and serves as an example of why you should get involved with PiPs (or a similar teaching community)!
An AMEE guide to PAL
AMEE published their guide to planning PAL in 2009 that is still relevant and has a comprehensive checklist that can be used to help you to think about your project in a robust way.
It never hurts to see what is already published on the area that you are planning on focussing on. This might give you some ideas or help you develop your own further.
After you’ve planned your project you need to start planning your teaching sessions. WBYHT guide to planning might be a helpful place to get started…
Planning an F3
In 10 years’ time, I envision that my working week will look something like: 2 days a week working as a GP (perhaps taking on a special interest) and 2 days a week working in medical education with a University – and most importantly, a 3 day weekend!
I knew that I wanted to take an F3 year to gain some further experience in medical education so during my foundation training; I have tried to gear my CV towards experiences which will improve my prospects in being able to secure a medical education based F3 post.
“Many jobs which involve medical education will offer to support you in gaining a post-graduate qualification”
- undergraduate or postgraduate?
Thinking about an F3
There are a number of considerations to take into account when thinking about an F3 post – below are some of the things I have come across…
many jobs which involve medical education will offer to support you in gaining a post-graduate qualification; normally, this will be the post-graduate certificate in medical education.
As this is a University accredited qualification, there is a cost associated with this and different workplaces may offer varying degrees of financial support. Posts which are employed by Universities are likely to be able to offer more financial support than hospital trusts – research this in advance and don’t hesitate to email for further information before applying.
it is important to decide whether you want to continue working clinically or you are happy to take 6 months/1 year away from the wards completely. Medical education jobs are more commonly split 50/50 ward-based work and education and fewer posts will be available for a full time role in medical education.
Pre-clinical v clinical
Full time roles in medical education are more likely to be aimed at the “pre-clinical” years whereas hospital-based posts will more likely be more senior medical students.
Think about your own personal interests and clarify the expectations of the role you are applying for beforehand – most job advertisements will outline this information for you but if not, email!
remember that doing less out of hours work generally means fewer pennies in the pocket on payday. Consider what wage is acceptable for you and think about this ahead of making any application!
Foundation doctor teacher
As a keen teacher and someone who wants medical education to form a major part of my future career, I have lots of experience in taking part in other people’s teaching programmes but not necessarily the experience in the organisation of teaching. This year I decided to challenge myself and organised and took part in the delivery of my own teaching programme.
Hints and tips from an online peer teaching project
Here are some useful hints and tips I picked up along the way!
PiPs 4.0 “Medagogy” 18.12.20
A PiPs report on the plannning and evaluation of PiPs 4.0- our one day training and community event for early career educators in the North West
ST3 peadiatrician- Wigan
Lead / Head gardener
GPST2 – Oldham
ST6 Anaesthetics – Salford
LEad / head gardener
CTF – MRI
Lead / head gardener
CF – Oldham
F2 – Bolton
CF – MRI
PiPs activities started out as a one-off conference held in September of 2017. At our inaugural event, Foundation doctors who were leading or participating in peer teaching in the North West of England were invited to attend a day of teacher training. This free day of training was set up and run voluntarily by foundation doctors and funded by Health Education England.
Workshops in 2017 were delivered by senior educators on topics such as; presentation skills, cognitive load theory, project longevity, feedback and simulation.
The “new starter” or “inspiration” day has now run for four consecutive years. The aims and objectives for the conference have grown over this time as the team have evolved their own understanding of their pedagogical (or medagogical) values.
The joy of the day has always been in the buzz created by foundation doctors excited about education. An attendee told us in 2019 at our last face to face event- “really friendly and positive atmosphere. Re-enthused my motivation to work on my teaching project and generally teaching on the wards” (attendee, September PiPs 2019)
In 2020, in the context of the pandemic, necessity drove the inspiration day online. Below is a summary of what we did and learnt.
Click to enlarge image
We started off by brainstorming sessions based on past successes; what we thought we would want the cohort to learn and what had been asked for in previous sessions
Initial ideas for sessions
Click to enlarge image
This was the first year we planned to run more than two sessions at once. We felt this might be a bit of a gamble (due to the technology) but we hoped it would give more opportunity to support attendees to make and seek their own learning objectives.
The final plan for the day…
Click to enlarge the image
This was the first time the team had used the programme Hop in. We chose it over other platforms as it enabled us to have participants actively involved throughout the day in various parallel breakout rooms. The team had experienced issues using other platforms in the past including zoom and another webinar software called webinarjam and we were keen to try something different.
Hop in to PiPs…
PiPs aims to cover aspects of teaching theory, practical methodology as well as project planning for peer teaching and evaluation.
We acknowledge that our learners come with a unique experience of education and because of this we encourage them to identify their own learning objectives.
This year was the first year we offered a choice of parallel sessions.
An active medagogy
There continues to be a wide spectrum of approaches to medical education practices from those rooted in cognitivism all the way to those that acknowledge the complex social structures we operate in.
At PiPs we endeavour to role model practices based in best evidence as well as explore the frontiers of education from health care and beyond. We endeavor to be learner-centered advocating active learning at all opportunities.
Despite the pandemic forcing our hand to technology to deliver PiPs, this necessity has brought many opportunities.
We have explored several platforms and are continuously learning and evolving how to deliver our Medagogy online.
We used Hop in to deliver the training day this year and aside from a few small hiccups this ran extremely well with good feedback from attendees.
PiPs is made possible by the support of the North West of England School of Foundation Training & Physician Associates
Mishal- a PiPs “head gardener”
Mishal joined the team in 2019 when she was an FY1.
“When I signed up to attend the PiPs 2019 showcase, I expected a day of powerpoint presentations and to leave having learnt a few things about medical education. In reality, I left with a new perspective about what medical education meant for me.
Empowered by this experience, I went on to design and implement a peer teaching project alongside a colleague who also attended the conference – something I didn’t have the confidence to do before. I felt the PiPs ethos was something that aligned with my attitude to how peer teaching should be: accessible, open and friendly.
Three PiPs conferences later, I am continually amazed at how much we can learn from other people. For me, PiPs is unique in its ability to instill a sense of community and the idea that education is a two-way street. I truly believe it to be an invaluable platform for people to network and be emboldened to develop and grow their own peer-teaching ventures.”
Really enjoyable, interactive, fun, insightful and useful for teaching, hopin platform worked well
Really enjoyable and useful day which has made me reflect on my own teaching style and how I gather feedback.
Great and thought provoking think it will likely change how I teach
The day was brilliant from start to finish. Very much interactive and engaging which meant the day flew by. It has challenged me to reflect on my own teaching and has opened my eyes to how I should deliver a teaching session ( …and how not to #deathtopowerpoints )
Using Lave and Wenger’s evaluation framework we were able to identify value from the day from several aspects
>>> see here for the full framework.
Hop in was a very very good platform worked really well, best ive seen. Kept focus by doing short sessions and lots of breaks. Cameras on meant engaged throughout although daunting.
I think the PIPS events are welcoming and exactly what is needed for juniors doctors involved in medical education.
We are always recruiting foundation team members and have plenty of events to get involved in the coming calendar year.
We are also actively recruiting members from other professions so please get in touch!
Creating interrobang (?!)
Anaesthetic trainee with an interest in medical education; co-founder the Clinical Teaching Fellows Forum, creator of the FRCA National Exam Teaching program, and Visiting Clinical Teaching Fellow at the University of Surrey
Visiting Clinical teaching Fellow for Physician Associates at University of Surrey and co founder of The Clinical Teaching Fellows Forum
Chief Mentor at Medic Mentor,Portfolio Medical Educator at GKT,QMUL,Lancaster university, University of Limerick and Brighton & Sussex Medical Schools and former NHS Neurological Rehabilitation Consultant.
Highly specialist Speech and language therapist in neurorehabilitation. With a background in neuroscience. Current medical students clinical teaching lead for the neurorehabilitation service at St George’s hospital london
FY2 at St George’s Hospital. Interested in Medical education, Cardiology and eating other people’s food
Med Ed enthusiast, founder of “PiPs” (peer teachers in practice, North West England- HEE funded initiative supporting early career educators), paeds trainee and WBYHT founder
Back in early 2020 an idea rose from the doom and gloom of cancelled conferences and deleted events. This idea was formed to that bring together educators under one roof, all be it virtually, and to be creative with our educational ideas, throwing out the obsolete, keeping the useful and heralding in the new and exciting.
In March 2020 I sent out a call, trying to find like minded educators who had lost out on presenting and hearing about fantastic projects and initiatives going on up and down the country. The result was amazing and a number of great educators and individuals who I had only met on twitter formed a working party. Only in 2020, the year that has seen virtual meetings become reality, could 8 educators from across the country, speciality and background form such a strong group.
This small group formed and started to meet regularly on Zoom to hone our ideas and ensure we were creating an event that we all believed in. Debate within the group flowed and often there were too many ideas for us to take forward. This, for me, has been one of the key lessons that I will take away from this conference: how to create a group identity and idea when so many people in the group are such interesting people that their ideas are great too.
In all, one of the key messages that we all agree upon and felt was of such significance to create the conference was Inter-professional education. Why do we learn and train as individual specialities, and then expect to work harmoniously in tandem with a full understanding of each groups complexities and skillset? I have undertaken a number of simulation sessions, and most of these were other doctors portraying nurses, doctors and medical students. Conversely there has never been an emergency situation at the hospital when I have been surrounded purely by a group of fellow doctors. In order to work together, we need to learn together, and this is where Interrobang really starts.
After spending a long time exploring various online platforms AoME stepped forward and offered to help us host the event. We knew we wanted to keep the registration fee to a minimum and with their help we could do this.
We soon realised that although it might be possible to run the event on a complicated tech platform it would take all of the committees attention to do so and it was more important to us to be a part of the event.
We met on twitter and have done the majority of our advertising there.
Although at times tricky to coordinate all of us being involved in conversations (between busy rotas) there have been some brilliant moments…
Evaluating teaching using confidence
How many times have you been told “if you don’t evaluate it, it never happened?!”. Not only, it never happened, but how do you know how it went? How do you change things for next time?
How often do you get a paper survey after a “teaching” session at work? Can you remember what was on it? Lots of likert scales? (rate this on a scale of 0-5, like-dislike, agree-disagree). Or lots of free text?
Planning how you evaluate your teaching session should be an essential building block of your overall plan.
Thinking about who the learning affects (and how) can be a good place to start to think about evaluation.
Evaluating our teaching can be as simple as assessing what has been learnt or not and how this matches up with our plan for the learners. Millers pyramid is a simple way of thinking about this.
Easy to measure?
There are plenty of examples in the literature of studies where they’ve sought an easy to establish headline measure of learning.
It’s simple and straightforward to ask someone if they have more confidence now that you’ve taught them what you’ve wanted them to learn.
Its an accepted measure
Confidence is something we all understand right? It’s a universal term.
At an education conference if you look through the posters you’ll be sure to find a good number of them have used confidence as the measure of the effectiveness of their teaching.
As teachers, we often want to build our learners up. WBYHT’s medagogy describes an intent to teaching that includes building a learners self esteem.
If we can demonstrate our learners have confidence then this is surely good evidence of this? We have bolstered their confidence.
Now you’ve read this, have a look at the arguments against using confidence as a measure of learning